Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Goodies part 2 - The Nutcracker

Greetings from Texas ya'll.

This had to be the best Christmas in years! Usually I do not get into the spirit but this year was different. My brother had an extra ticket to go see The Nutcracker at Bass Hall on Christmas Eve, so since I've never been to a ballet before I was intrigued to go. I've only seen it on PBS and not even the whole thing. I am very familiar with the music however, since I was in Orchestra during highschool. The ballet was amazing, and I was very entertained for those two hours. It went by so quickly. Now I know exactly what a sugar plum fairy looks like. The costume was so so so pretty!

There were so many kids there (lucky ducks), and they were all well behaved. That blew me away. You'd imagine that the last place a kid would want to be is at the ballet, but they seemed to really enjoy it! The girl in the story was Asian, and I thought that was pretty cool. The only thing I did not like was the lack of a live Orchestra. boo.

They had tons of Christmas decorations for sale in the lobby. Here are some pics I took while I was waiting.

Just one of their Christmas Trees. Taken with Camera+ app.

Rodeo Santa? Weird. Only in Texas.

They even sold jewelry and pretty ornaments.

The gorgeous costume! That was the ballerina I saw that night! The male one we saw was not the one in the photo. North Texas Ballet Company.

Nutcrackers for sale. I can't believe these were only $30-35. I'd only expect this place to rip you off. They look more expensive than that! They are so cute!

You could take photos with the wooden nutcracker or The REAL Nutcracker! He's wearing PANTS! The photo lady was funny when she mentioned the guy has to put on pants before coming out for photos. She said his spandex would be inappropriate for photos with the children. Imagine seeing his package under the tree as well!

I also did even more "baking." It was my first time making chocolate bark. I used vanilla chocolate labeled "Almond Bark" from Wal-Mart. It seemed straightforward enough to make and it is.You just melt it under low heat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. When it is soft enough to spread, do so and add the toppings. Save some toppings for after you have spread it all out. This way it looks prettier and not "underneath" the chocolate. Sprinkle the saved toppings on top evenly and then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Here is the recipe for Cookies and Cream Bark. I think next year I will take it a step further and coat the bottom with dark chocolate! I added the crushed candy canes to make it look better and more festive.

You can package it in a cute handmade box like these or a simple tin.

Another great part was spending Christmas Day with some kiddos. I've not seen this many presents under the tree before! These kids went at it! It was quite the mad house in there and wrapping paper flying everywhere. Usually Christmas is very anti-climatic for me, but finally going to a party made it really fun. Before the party I spent the day with my sister playing Rockband 3 on the wii. I recorded myself singing but after listening back I don't think I will post it! I'm doing you a favor!

I think my favorite part of Christmas has to be the spirit or holiday cheer in the air wherever you go. From the weeks after Thanksgiving until Christmas it is crowded everywhere there is shopping. I love the frantic energy and the crazy shopping people do. I can feel the festive energy, and it is fun being out. Now it's over and the crowds are just crowds. Crowds of returners.. I did a little returning myself today (not my gifts but gifts I decided not to give). I always associate after-christmas shopping sales with discounted decorations or people who are returning gifts. I think recently the stores are getting better with the sales though and maybe in a few years we'll have an official boxing day of our own!

Me waiting in the lobby at Bass Hall and playing with the merchandise (strategically hiding my pimple).

Here's my "fashion" for the day after Christmas on Sunday. I was trying to channel Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book. I love her blog!

There could be a part three of random stuff I bought after Christmas and what I bought myself before Christmas.. but no promises!